Author Archives: Darren Clifton-Jones

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Countering the threat from Lone Actors

There has been a steady growth in so called ‘Lone Actor’ attacks by individuals inspired by but not directed or controlled by extremist groups like Islamic State. Influenced by other radicals within their immediate community and on-line propaganda, they employ everyday items such as vehicles and knives to carry out so called simple attacks requiring little if any preparation or planning.

They are much harder for the police and security services to counter. The lack of pre-event activity and little if any association with known extremist networks makes early identification and disruption of their plans difficult if not impossible for the authorities.

Lone Actors therefore present a particular challenge and the emphasis is therefore on all of us to use our eyes and ears to identify suspicious behaviour at the tactical level, particularly when in crowded and public spaces, and to identify these individuals during their target reconnaissance or when they are preparing for the attack itself.

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